tv Eisenhower and the Frontier CSPAN November 14, 2015 7:00pm-8:01pm EST
>> good evening. i'm the director of the library and is leisure loving you here on the 125th anniversary of the earth dwight d. eisenhower. eisenhower.way d the presidential libraries associate director you will hear from the moment. this is sponsored we're happy to say that the wt cap or foundation and commerzbank. of yours is married a frenchman. as a german family this is difficult birthday. she is here tonight we welcome you back.
this is a great idea. 90 will hear from tamarine. -- tim reeves. out eisenhower warned in 1890 win jackson turner said the frontier thesis essay. he said the frontier close and therefore america changed in the frontier have made their. area thet the last left is from two. i want to say tonight is really is about midwest. first off jackson was from. -- from wisconsin. area he in kansas city worked with him. thesiself invented the
manifest any. he wrote a. -- he wrote books. he also helped found the oregon trail. he was the first cap colorado appointed by lincoln. these is westward the path of empire. in these is he said there is little zone is the temperate zone of the world empire is moving in to the last. americana to your to and eventually. . his thesis was that. . this view is the debt is the one
that was in sugar and. and civilization physically or ropolis.can cent by the health. is really --about there are certain presidents the date was responsible. dwight eisenhower. one a little further south through and handling, campus. ronald reagan in dixon, illinois. the dark suburbs of the midwest in arkansas the. -- bill clinton. about president obama. a lot of places that let's face
it grew up in canada. -- kansas. you triangulate all of those basically it's right here. this is really a midwest. evidence ofg for this thesis in eisenhower's diaries. i could not find it. but i did find this. line in turner's frontier thesis is the expansion frontierst -- the leads to the growth of independent. i can find this in the eisenhower diary. ii march 2,orld war
1942 he is beginning to plan for the invasion for american troops going to the middle east and ultimately to europe. his father dies. he was very today. he was a just man well liked educated anger. demonstrative why it modest exemplary. he was an uncomplaining person in the face of the worsening. insistent upon the immediate payments but that for him a reputation that profited all of this. all central kansas else needs secure and whitman to west point in 1911. it seems to me that that lesson of eisenhower on the kansas
frontier is about character. tonight we have a man of sterling reputation is the deputy director and super -- --arch-- our kindness ivist of the eisenhower library. he has also known and it has received awards for his involvement in baseball history. is received awards of a member of the society of america based on research. book aboutten a kansas city monarchs. it's a little bit of a surprise that he's here tonight while the playoffs are going on.
he is a great historian in our vist.ess -- archi it's an honor to happen. -- to have him. bites you want to thank the kemper foundation. for coming up with this idea a year or so ago to commemorate the 125th anniversary of mr. dwight eisenhower. here we are at the end of that 125 program and it's fitting that it takes us to the american two-year. 2015 marks not only the 25th day birthdayower -- 125th of eisenhower. it's also the year the u.s. bureau declared the american
frontier closed. events i hope to illustrate tonight are actually related. in the understanding of the frontiers to my shaped his ideas of the proper role of government that led him to affirm the new deal social welfare and. the primary evidence for this claim is not found in the books that he mentioned but rather at the library museum in letters between the former president and five-star general military comrade names brantford jenna with. bradford chenoweth pictured on the screen. graduate school of i described it in military affairs and
humanities. historyrn of love of under the road memorization of what instruction revived under connors to leverage as he worked his way through lasix of history and philosophy. he would leave panama with the new zeal. brilliant assignments with the assistant secretary or. he was the supreme allied commander. this, graduates that i went to an animal with him on historic trajectory to the white house. in 1954 letter from china with chenoweth.
was very general intelligent is somewhat material. mercurial. he left the army after the war. he was at the university california berkeley where classroom encounters with liberal professors on his self-described radical republican believes she now aimed at his old friend the president. he deviated from eisenhower's middle-of-the-road all of the that that he still wanted to express what great admiration for your ability to stand up. for is three fourths of the battle and you have it. thoughts he decided to rekindle their conversation with
a much longer rejoinder. full-fledged philosophy. he characterized his ideas on government from late 1940's he made his first moment on the world of the state. until the unit is like the 1969. he left the white house with educational art holds for reader's digest. his last article was not published until a month after his death. his middleweight speeches and articles consistently promoted right centrist line between concentrations of unbridled private power and unlimited state our. his view the long march of american tree the struggle of that middle towards. abraham lincoln and theodore roosevelt went into lincoln's homestead act.
for the general case the constitution was vote nothing but an effort to find a middle way between the political extremists of that particular time. on the one side with the that the other for the great believers. those who mistrusted the decisions reached by popular majorities. i committed the same in contemporary politics. to quote will every phase of our individual lives versus those who wanted to vote eliminate everything the federal government has ever done that represent is generally classified as social development. in social's plan to security to 10.5 million new work hours the 19th or the issue was probably the impetus for his initial finding letters to his
friends. tamimi said no great intelligence required in order to return the necessity of establishing some kind of security for individuals and highly industrialized age. at one time such security was provided by the assistance of the lands great masses of untouched and valuable natural resources. they were no longer to be had for the asking. i letters to chenoweth repeat many of them arguments he made a where that this reference to the loss of freelance natural resources with something new. it revealed the middle lays an election without to strangers not commonly associated with eisenhower. understand how he made the connection between the frontier and the necessity for federal welfare programs requires a bit of a digression starting with a look back to of all places the
1893 world fair. census bureau announced the frontiers extinction with little notice until young wisconsin provided named turner his interpretation of the closure and a meeting of the american historical association in july 1890. the association met that summer world's fair in chicago. an eclectic scholarly program offering english popular uprising in the middle ages to early lead mining in illinois. although conference observers noted over at little and there is a time is frontier thesis would dominate the interpretation of america three for more than a generation and
in fact continues to me about her debate this day. included thehesis instance of free land and continuous recession of the advance of the american settlement westward displays american development. accounted for distinctive american society and quality that was both democratically egalitarian and individualistic according to turner. the idea was that democracy to develop. really and with the most significant thing about the frontier. he claims so long as freelance
the opportunity for competency in the likelihood exists. and economic power secures political power. in other words the frontier has much more than just the end of the major cap you. the loss of the free land meant that economic freedom and economic security must be built on a new foundation. the new foundation that was identified by turner and his interpreters over the coming years would be is to take -- the state. termessivism in a broader refers to the wide-ranging thought after wars of the 19th and 20th century. it mitigates the disruptive changes throughout industrialization and urbanization and immigration through government action. very simplified definition of relativism. provides further proof to the progresses the state must respond in novel ways to the
complexity of this new age. addressing the american historical association again in 9010 turner reported how the insent finds himself gauge old ideas to new conditions. it is not surprising socialism shows no word again election continues. party was formed on the primary election standards initiative referendum in all and that the regions one the center washe that democracy limited to the most market degree. substitutes for the former safeguard democracy and disappearing freelance. they are the sequence to the distinction of the frontier. among those searching for a substitute and disappearing the land eisenhower's father.
he ran for school board the socialist already take in 1903. he won by 27th of that year. it always tickles me when i read a story in refers to eisenhower's dimensional midwestern upbringing when his father was socialist party candidate local law that's local office. i don't think that's traditional republican in terms of most definitions. an important corollary was the belief that the freeway and have provided a safety valve economic relief to factory workers who the cost for the job by recession or depression. the safety belt would also be read raided by the state in the form of government relief. from the somewhat broadly academic certain chicago the
frontier in advance steadily into the new century. the thesis in wide circulation by omniscient academic and popular presentations by turner and graduate students teacher resource guides essays in popular magazines like the atlantic the turner was a very gifted speaker. came to kansas city and spoke at the university of missouri. is frontier thesis was so widely that thethe 1930's first published bibliography the amassed 125 entries.
a promise to hundred books or articles that have been written about the thesis. by 1985 bibliography grants 250 agents. people are still writing about the jackson area. his fame grew subgrades thesis became so prevalent that ignored the segment relate significance of the frontier in america in was never read some of his it wasn't hailed it got party. figure thanthe air among the early new deal. most importantly professor turner's former students at the are. -- fdr. address on the3 progressive governments in no.
roosevelt laid out his understanding of the nation decrements of its cause and solution. todayce of the situation only to rarely indicates the opportunity of use -- we've known it no longer is. our last frontier has long since been reached. there is no safety belt in the form of industrial. . our task now is not the discovery of natural resources. the day of enlightened administration. theadministration manage
new deal is still with us social security insurance corporation among new deal living legacies. however was the new deals most ambitious attempt at post frontier enlightened administration. the nra was established to revitalize industry and trade. employment included labor conditions and fair competition. volunteering. for director -- the nra is a safety bowel on the frontier. this deserves a little more nation. the new dealers claim the nra functions in the frontier and introduces an important part of the safety valve. . that only did the free land of
the west absorb the labor and new immigrants, provided what historian curtis metal deemed a natural adjustment to the competitive excesses of the captains of industry and the masters of finance who exploited the west. new settlers in laissez-faire enterprises now that the free land is on the adjustment must take place. frontier wass the the natural regulator capitalism and employment. it was gone so now we needed to mandate -- best the nra. conservatives rejected the nra as well as almost every other new deal around area president hoover had attacked fdr.
once out of office continue with the criticism largely representing the conservative reactions to the new deal. and his fellow conservatives believed the new deal concept of the frontier was too small. continents were waiting the research and discovery offenders. even the boundless less was a challenge to liberty and 1930 or. service only human by sustaining free spirit free enterprise. for such men alone discovered a new continent. regions.eered these that's where the argument except 20 years later.
presidentto the security. closed the year you and i were born. pioneers had to earn their free land. hoover the chain continued. we have another reason to exploit the frontiers. i admitted he might misuse the term security. that land did not necessarily mean a reserve of hope. eisenhower said no political system could more ports of people who found themselves suddenly poverty-stricken. he created social problems that
cannot possibly be met under ideas that were probably logic. circumstances changed in almost any government proved adorable. the degree of mass production you need a new approach. having already taken five letters the elephant in the room which is like election or the social programs are being named. the charge for the radical conservative was representative of the left. at the gop for much of his history. and he would undoubtedly be considered a writer or republican. his new deal charges also
express the republican conservative when they realize their first republican president elect in 20 years not will that you deal. the degree to which eisenhower accepted the new deal program and occupied historians and biographers since 1940. the consensus is that eisenhower embrace the reforms the new deal had one wide acceptance from the american people. this was a new political reality. as i said in a well-known november night 54 letter to his servant of brother edgar he would also accuse the president of signing on to the new deal hase today political party decided to abolish social security unemployment insurance and labor laws area you would not your that already again.
there's a tiny intergroup the ways you do these things. they are stupid. historians and personally conservative president with a way to deflect more expansive social rent -- legislation by democrats. his philosophy rejected the internal is on and spending inherent in the large welfare state. but what's the expedient factort the frontier president eisenhower believed in control over the descent of welfare programs. for the same reason roosevelt and other progresses believed. eisenhower probably first
encountered the new deal with the consequences for government. they are the mid-level staff officer and general douglas arthur during the first 100 days when so much of this new deal legislation was passed as a close observer of the washington change. three of those figures secretary of agriculture in his direct supervisor and the secretary of the interior and the nra books toutingoads the new deal as the solution to the frontier. can see the title pages there on the screen. eisenhowerve
progress more in line with any other new deal program. it is establishing industrial and johnson has a ready tongue and imagination. the soundness of his methods and the principles of the nra are demonstrated by the fact that, in spite of all this ridicule, the nra is really making headway. relics of post-new deal frontier thought popped up during his white house years. that hisested to me days in new deal washington and his exposure to all this post frontier thoughts were just as formative to his intellectual development as his time in general cars graduate school. even as the parallels with the bold,al thought stand in
you can see ike's reading copy of his workday remarks, celebrated and delivered in the very city where fdr made his signature campaign speech to five years earlier. they could have been clipped from roosevelt's own script. in 1890, we were still moving to the western frontier. sitting bull was killed that year. there is no more free land. adapt to aning to crowded, pulsating society. do we have adventures as settlers, but as responsible citizens in a mature nation. planning for the fullest use of our great strength, channeling our pioneer spirit of makingndless path this nation a better place."
his expansion of the new deal was about more than accepting political reality or expedience, he shared a progressive interpretation of the american past with franklin roosevelt and other comment administration fulfills, which led him to include federal welfare programs as part of his "middle way. the significance of the frontier in eisenhower history. is the point at which i was going to end my remarks until i learned that after he left the white house, eisenhower became a big supporter of planned parenthood. i don't say this in order to flow fuel on the fire raging as if it needed any help. i just wanted to show how views colored his view on other important questions. eisenhower had rejected a role for the state in providing birth control and information of birth a december 1959 press
conference when he was asked of the united states should provide family planning information as part of economic aid packages. anything thatne not more emphatically a subject that is not a proper political or governmental activity or function of responsibility. the government has not and will not so long as i am here have a positive clinical doctrine in this program that has to do with the problem of birth control. that's not our business. truman was the honorary cochairman of planned parenthood. greater than any post by hitler." view was son his strong that by 1965, eisenhower allowed a letter he wrote in support of a bill currently in the senate that would have provided a birth control information to be published in
the washington post. hearkens far back beyond the war against hitler, all the way back to the familiar eisenhower territory of the finished frontier. wrote,t is true, ike that there remain great areas in which there are unexploited resources for food production and irreplaceable minerals, it is still quite clear, that in spite of great technical progress and production, we are scarcely keeping up in overall production and distribution come with requirements leading to an underfed population. because the area of the earth is finite, unless something is done to bring a central equilibrium between him and supply, there is a righteous explosion and the lowering of ,ll peoples, including our own
especially it would seem unwed mothers on public assistance. corrective action will require-- national recovery administration, eisenhower was seeking a politically controlled population.o the he was looking for safety valve, like the vanished frontier, to solve social problems of a new age. thank you. [applause] >> if you have a question, would you come up to one of the microphones? >> tim, since he was a man of abilene, born when the frontier
was closed, what was his industry in the -- interest in the american west in terms of the western art or the genre of western fiction, or even movies ?r television is there any interest he carried on this interest -- is there any evidence he carried on this interest? tim rives: he did. eisenhower as a boy of men who had been there during the heyday when it had been a cowtown. ike didn't know the west firsthand, but he knew it secondhand. he enjoyed the popular culture of the west. he was known for reading western novels. when he launched the d-day
invasion, he went back to his trailer and enjoy the western novels. he didn't know what else to do. he knew about the abilene code, meet meant people had to people on the street and look them in the eye. even at an anti-defamation league dinner, when he was president, he talked about the abilene code. located on our campus in abilene, buckeye, the main north-south treat through abilene, is the c hisolm trail. in 1890, when ike was born, the year the frontier is that's theosed, battle of wounded knee. eisenhower was the last president born in the 19th century. that americansr
landed on the moon. he was a bridge between two ages. of theser and a lot guys, whether roosevelt or for the -- frederick jackson turner, they witness to those changes of the late 19th century, of people moving from the free land disappearing, that safety valve, which most historians agreed was a myth, there was not a safety reliefhat gave economic to the population, but they believed it did. when it disappeared, there was panic. eisenhower bought into that. there was no longer free land out west. people would have to find other opportunity. >> i was taken back when you said he was a member of planned parenthood. i want to point out that they were only doing birth control at
that point. they were not doing abortions. sure as someone who fought hitler, i'm sure he would not have been in favor of abortion. tim rives: there's nothing in his papers about abortion. >> you said some thing about serialization, and i did not grasp what you said. that?u expand on tim rives: the said we'd have to ard look at things and people having children. after two women were going to have children out of wedlock, the cap to be forcibly sterilize, which was a common attitude at the time.
it would have to be forcibly sterilized, which was a common attitude at the time. military-industrial complex, how's that a factor? tim rives: what ike feared were concentrations of private power and state power. it was like an unholy union of private money and the state. you can trace the line of thinking back, even to 1909. gave his first speech on politics to the young man's democrat club of abeline. he was talking about all these progressive reform measures. can still see that his concerns were the same, from 1909 until the last article he wrote in 1969, he was concerned about those extreme powers.
donny michalski noted that during the farewell address, eisenhower only talked about the military industrial context once but the balance nine times. is probably calls for conjecture on your part. since the turn of the current century, we've seen this massive increase in additional connectivity. there are those who believe it the internet and this connectivity represents a new frontier. i can't help but wonder, since eisenhower was sort of at the sharp and of the stick for the most massive increase in technology both during the war do the decade of the 50's,
you suspect, or is there any scholarship that might suggest his view of digital d leave his views unchanged or would he be inclined to see a new frontier? tim rives: he was not afraid of change. oftenisenhower was, he's generally thought of as a firstvative, his description of his political philosophy in the early 50's, he called conservative dynamism. it was a cautious aggressive is ism. temperamentally, he was a conservative. he would embrace a lot of technological change. he is given credit for darpa, which is the office that was given the means to invent the internet.
said he fearedhe the military-industrial complex, because he saw the 1920's, when he worked in washington. he was there at the creation and was a part of the creation. moving forward, he thought about the limits in the sense of caution that concern the temperament of all these things eisenhower did. if that is helpful. correct me if i'm wrong, but i think his father struggled financially when they lived in texas and was always in fear of debt. do you think that colored his feeling about the new deal and the need to have a support system for families? tim rives: i would guess it did. i really would. near hope,s failure
kansas, ike was the only one of the boys not born in kansas, even though he was most identified with kansas. were, if not poor, the next notch above poor. the idea to touch on that the frontier theory is a myth. on one hand, on this is a falsehood, on the other hand, it is a story that defines what takes place afterward. i see how that thread runs through contemporary politics, i'd want you to touch on that. tim rives: a lot has been written about the myth of the frontier or that there was an american eden that we had lost. ways on how both much of an effect this line of the frontier had on american
institutions. is thet that is mythic safety valve, the idea that there is always a reserve of land out west, and when times get tough, you can go out west -- strike out a new anew. eisenhower alludes to that in a response to chenoweth. free land did not provide security, but it provided hope. this idea of the american west was an article of faith with many. >> you mentioned earlier how his mom was a pacifist. hisnder how that impacted beginning of his military career and throughout, if that helped shape some of his military views? tim rives: milton eisenhower, ike's youngest brother, who
ther in life became closest pair of the bunch, the only time ike cried is when to west point. as far as how her activism affected exposition, -- her affected his position, maybe that pacifism give him some pause. he really did everything he could to avoid war. the conflict in korea or at least got an armistice. no large-scale combat actions in the rest of his presidency and no men killed in battle. she had become a jehovah's
witness in the early part of the 20th century, but even the river , wasren, the mennonites historically a pacifist group. it is a bit ironic. >> the part of his address that comes after the military-industrial complex, you can comment on that and respond to me, but i have another question about the civil war, and after that, right after his statement about the military-industrial complex, he says, in this revolution, he's talking about the technological , the question about in this revolution, research has become formalized, complex, and costly. today, the solitary inventor, tinkering in his shop has been .vershadowed by task forces
the free university, the fountainhead of free ideas and scientific discovery has experienced a revolution in the conduct of research. it becomes a substitute for curiosity.l for every blackboard there are a hundred computers. regarded.tly be gravely to be regarded. we must be alert to how-- technological elite. your concern about balance is right. the other word that comes over and over, two words, freedom and liberty. i would suggest that there is a balanced view of the world in this farewell address, but it is
different than the new deal. the idea of the administered of state was something he knew was going on but was a difficult direction for the country and needed to be moderated and controlled. tim rives: absolutely. that's why he ran as a republican. he disliked the new deal centralizing government. of is ironic that as much as the new deal he did adopt, he was extremely critical of the new deal types, although he was extremely new deal-ish in terms of public policy. question--my question is separate from that. the civil war, he left for western novels, and of course he grew up in a place that was dominated--he loved western novels, and of course you grew
up in a place that was dominated by the west. stephen ambrose's famously tells a story about getting a call from him, because he had written a biography of the chief of staff at the beginning of the civil war. -- famously, ambrose thought it was a joke that he got a call from the retired president. i wonder if his view on the onil war had an influence his view of the west and the conquest of the west and his general view of american history? i must say, all these references to the frontier and free land are few and far between. it is just enough to connect
eisenhower to that idea to show that that interpretation of history, that he excepted, delink him more closely to progressive democrats -- it didn't link him more closely to did link him more closely to progressive ddemocrats. it impacted their family personally. but, again, in terms of the west, i cannot make that connection. but yes, eisenhower loved history, from the time he was a boy to the end of his life. any other questions? >> one question. how did the eisenhower museum come to abeline? forgotten inost
kansas. tim rives: that's a problem for us. it's a brief history and a little complicated. in the war, in 1944, some local men in abilene decided there should be a memorial to their favorite son. the eisenhower foundation was formed. they thought they could build some kind of monument in abilene, and perhaps a small museum that could hold eisenhower's awards and decorations and also those of local men and women who served in the war. around the time that was happening, eisenhower died, and the eisenhower home became available. the eisenhower boys donated the boyhood home, now on our, to the foundation. eisenhower laid the cornerstone of the museum when he went to announce his candidacy for the white house. he came back in 1954 for the grand opening.
he had a museum while he was president. the next question, what was he going to do with his papers? the next question became, where is he going to be verburied, tht became abeline. so over 30 years, we have five buildings developed over 22 acres. must presidential libraries just contain an archive in a museum. our history is different than others. remarks are contained in this document. thank you. [applause] tim rives: the eisenhower museum
is only a few miles down i-70 in the kansas, so go visit. it is a great museum. n, 6-4.s woi [laughter] >> american history tv. this weekend. >> setting up boundaries, political boundaries, state boundaries, for the future, and for this territory, going forward. >> lectures in history with i was dating diversity professor-- ordinancy which allowed the government to acquire territory in the high river valley. >> who was on what side? senior citizens against kids? oh, i see.
told. do what i am >> a look at the 1992 presidential campaign of bill clinton, during a visit to franklin high school in new hampshire. america, marking the 70th anniversary of the nuremberg trials. a documentary on not to concentration and prison cap's. continuing on oral histories. >> it was a couple of days after to justifythey had it, and my captain, who was a new captain, said stay here. again, it was one of those times when somebody reached out, and i was left. off they went. it was several days later, a week or so later, they finally went across so i could rejoin my
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believe in witchcraft or prosecute witchcraft today. >> stacy schiff talks about her book, "the witches, salem, 1692." interesting part of the accusations in the way we think of salem is that wealthy captains, sea homeless five-year-old girls, all were accused of being witches. this is not an incident where the victims are all female. there were five male victims, including a minister. they don't burn them, they hang them. inre was so much encrusted myth and so much misunderstanding that was important to dispel. >> sunday night at 8:00 on c-span q&a. ♪ >> c-span presents landmark cases, the book, a guided to our
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talks about the northwest ordinance. it was enacted by congress in to organize and govern the newly acquired territory from the ohio river to the mississippi. it was also applied to the louisiana purchase. his class is 50 minutes. basmajian: today we have a title slide because we are on c-span. this is the title of the lecture. from, i'd like to catch up where we stopped previously and move forward a little and talk about, specifically, the idea of national planning.